What Happens During a Routine Dental Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Process

July 06, 2022


What Happens During a Routine Dental Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Process
What Happens During a Routine Dental Cleaning: A Step-by-Step Process

Regular dental cleanings in Jupiter are essential for preventing gingivitis, gum disease, and cavities. Dental professionals recommend everyone schedule an appointment for a teeth cleaning twice a year for optimal oral health. If you’re unsure of what to expect during this time, here’s a step-by-step guide on everything that happens during a dental cleaning.


What to Expect During a Professional Dental Cleaning


Professional cleanings are generally performed by a trained dental hygienist. They’re done twice a year during your biannual dental checkups and typically take a short amount of time. If this is your first time getting a professional cleaning, or if you have serious oral health issues, the appointment may take longer. You might also need to visit more frequently.


Here’s what to expect during a typical dental cleaning appointment:


Step 1: Oral Examination


Before the dental cleaning begins, your hygienist will examine your teeth and the inside of your mouth using a small mirror. They will look for issues, like inflammation and decay, that will impact your oral health. What they find and how severe it is will determine your next steps.
Your hygienist will also ask you questions about your oral care habits and give you tips on what you can do at home to keep your mouth healthy.


Step 2: Plaque and Tartar Removal


If there are no severe problems after the oral exam, your hygienist will start removing plaque and tartar from the gumline and between your teeth. Plaque naturally forms on your teeth and can be removed by brushing. If it’s left to sit too long, it hardens into tartar, which requires a professional dental cleaning to remove.


During the plaque and tartar removal process, your hygienist will use a scraping tool. The less buildup you have, the less time it will take.


Step 3: Professional Deep Cleaning


Once your teeth and gums are free of tartar, it’s time to begin brushing. Your hygienist will use an electric toothbrush and gritty toothpaste to deep clean and polish the surface of your teeth. It can also remove any tartar left behind from the previous step. You will feel a slow grinding motion on your teeth as your hygienist cleans them.


Because of the grainy texture and harsh scrubbing, this type of deep cleaning should be done by a professional twice a year. The special toothpaste, known as prophylaxis paste, comes in several flavors, and your hygienist may ask if you have a preference.


Step 4: Professional Flossing


Flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene routine, so of course it would be included during your professional dental cleaning! After your hygienist finishes deep cleaning your teeth, they will floss them. They will get deep between your teeth and remove any residue and plaque left from previous steps.


If you don’t regularly floss at home, your hygienist will know because your gums will bleed during the process. They can give you tips and suggest techniques to help you floss better and prevent bleeding during your next appointment.


Step 5: Mouth Rinse


Next, your hygienist will give you a rinsing solution or water to swish in your mouth, removing any lingering residue or plaque. This rinse usually has fluoride in it, which is excellent for strengthening and protecting your teeth. Like the prophylaxis paste, the mouth rinse can come in different flavors, and you may be able to pick your favorite one.


Step 6: Fluoride Treatment


The final step of your professional teeth cleaning is a fluoride treatment. The goal of this treatment is to prevent cavities and improve your oral health. It involves placing a fluoride foam, gel, or sticky paste on the surface of your teeth and letting it sit for about a minute.
Fluoride treatments have been essential for maintaining good oral health care for decades. Fluoride is a natural mineral known to build strong teeth and fight cavities. Professional dental products contain more fluoride than over-the-counter ones.


Are There Any Other Steps Involved?


Dental cleanings should be straightforward and performed twice a year for people with good oral hygiene and no health problems. Patients with gum disease should visit the dentist more often to maintain it. These extra appointments involve both surgical and nonsurgical periodontal therapy depending on how severe your case is.


Patients with poor oral hygiene or who haven’t seen a dentist in years may also need an x-ray. This will allow the dentist to spot any issues that need to be addressed, including:


• Cavities
• Tooth decay
• Impacted teeth
• Abscesses
• Cysts or tumors


You may also meet with the dentist to discuss everything you should do at home to keep your smile healthy and bright. It’s important to be honest during these appointments so you can take proper care of your teeth and mouth. The goal is to ensure strong and disease-free teeth that will last a lifetime.


Other Types of Dental Cleanings


Some patients may need other types of dental cleanings if they have gum disease or severe plaque and tartar buildup. If your hygienist notices anything concerning during the first step of the routine cleaning, they may recommend getting one of the following types of deep cleanings:


Scaling and Root Planing


Scaling and root planing can treat gingivitis and mild gum disease. It involves using special tools to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the tooth’s surface and gum pockets. This also reduces gum inflammation. Afterward, the dentist will smooth the roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth.


Gross Debridement


This type of cleaning removes substantial plaque and tartar buildup. It’s the most heavy-duty type of dental cleaning reserved for people who don’t maintain a proper oral care routine or haven’t visited the dentist in a long time. Gross debridement cleanings use an electrical tool to loosen the tartar and remove it from your teeth.


Get a Professional Dental Cleaning in Jupiter Today!


Professional dental cleanings are generally quick, easy, and painless. They’ll seemingly fly by if you practice good oral hygiene in between appointments! When was the last time you visited the dentist for a professional cleaning? If you’re coming up on that six-month mark, let this be a reminder to schedule your appointment today.

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